Heroes helping Heroes
Posted on Aug 29, 2016
On Sunday, August 28, EMS Roaddocs held its second annual ride to benefit the Greg Lindmark Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated
to support and assistance programs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental condition affecting our first responders,
and it can cause anxiety, great stress, irritability, and lead to suicide. Although not as prevalent among first resonders as compared to military personnel, it is a serious condition that
cannot be overlooked. Chronic fatigue due to repeated exporsure to trauma, prolonged or failed rescue operations, witnessing comrades injured or killed, or dealing with seriously injured children can
have a devastating affect on fire fighters, EMT's and police.
Riders gathered at the starting point, Rock County Cycles, in Janesville, WI. The independent motorcycle shop provided a large parking lot as well as refreshments for the over 100
participants who arrived in anticipation of a scenic ride to the fire department in Sharon, WI.
The ride was fully supported by a number of different police and fire jurisdictions, and once off, riders never had to stop or put their feet down, except for a brief stop at the Orfordville Fire
Department along the route. Dangerous intersections were handled by police and sheriffs, and several fire departments deployed fire trucks to block cross-traffic with the help of police.
After arriving in Sharon, riders as well as locals were treated to some extrication demonstrations by some Sharon fire fighters as well as a landing of the Flight for Life helicopter.
Everyone had the opportunity to watch the demonstrations and speak to the flight crew of the helicopter, who answered questions, posed for photos and let people look at the interior of this modern,
life-saving emergency room in the sky.
There were raffle items, food and beverages, a dunk-tank that cooled off some volunteer Roaddocs, and Pits for Patriots was on hand to explain their exceptional program.
Founded in May of 2011, Pits for Patriots trains qualified, rescued pit bulls from various Chicago area dog rescues and shelters to work as service,
therapy, skilled companion and companion dogs for United States military veterans and first responders (i.e. police, fire and emergency medical service personnel).
It was an exceptional day, presented by an exceptional group of medical professionals, for an exceptional cause. Please watch for future events sponsored by EMS Roaddocs and
consider participating in next years, Heroes helping Heroes ride.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Like-minded riders like helping others
Members of EMS Roaddocs are easily identifiable by the unique design on the backs of their jackets. The motorcycle club is made up of emergency services workers, such as doctors, nurses and
emergency medical technicians. Roaddocs Wisconsin photo via Facebook.
EMS Roaddocs members took part in a rally in June in Albany, Wisconsin. Members of the motorcycle club participate in fundraising rides, offer CPR classes, give scholarships and organize other
projects that benefit area communities. Roaddocs Wisconsin photo via Facebook.
At a glance
EMS Roaddocs Heroes Helping Heroes event
• When: Sunday, Aug. 28
• The ride: Registration starts at 10:30 a.m., ride leaves at noon from Rock County Cycles, 1818 Milton Ave., Janesville. Ride ends at Sharon Fire and Rescue Department, 182
Park Ave., Sharon.
• After the ride: Touch a Truck for children at 2 p.m., vehicle extrication demonstration at 3 p.m., Flight For Life landing, live music and more in Sharon.
• Find out more: Go online to emsroaddocs.com
JANESVILLE — More than 100 motorcycles are expected to roar through the area next weekend in support of those whose job is to help others.
The EMS Roaddocs will host the Heroes Saving Heroes motorcycle ride Sunday, Aug. 28, starting at Rock County Cycles in Janesville and ending at the Sharon Fire and Rescue Department. Ride
registration begins at 10 a.m. with the ride at noon.
The ride will raise funds for the Greg Lindmark Foundation, which provides support for police officers who deal with stress and other emotional issues. The foundation was established in honor of
Greg Lindmark, a former Rockford police officer who committed suicide last year.
The ride also offers a way to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder among emergency medical services workers, firefighters and police officers, said Bill Benson, a Janesville native
who founded EMS Roaddocs. Benson said services are needed to help emergency workers deal with stress, especially those who work in smaller communities.
“When you start talking about little towns like Darien and Sharon, they don't have a lot of resources,” Benson said. “When they get dispatched to an emergency, they may be dispatched to a
neighbor's house. When they get done working on their neighbor, what do they do with that? Where do they take that? Do you go home and sit at the table and talk to your family about it? They don't
want to hear that kind of stuff.
“So, the premise of this is PTSD awareness and how it affects first responders. It's everywhere, and that's the message we want to get out.”
This is the second year for the motorcycle ride, which drew about 100 participants last year.
“My expectation would be to reach that same number, and if we could out-do that, that would be fantastic,” Benson said. “I would love to see anywhere from 100 to 200 motorcycles. I would love to
see up to 1,000.”
Mark Messina, president of the EMS Roaddocs Wisconsin chapter, said he's looking forward to the ride.
“Last year's ride was held in Rockford, and we decided to move it to Wisconsin this year, because we have a lot of members in Wisconsin. It was exciting. We received support from firefighter
motorcycle clubs and police motorcycle clubs,” Messina said. “Everyone had a good time. We were able to donate quite a bit of money to the Greg Lindmark Foundation.”
EMS Roaddocs member Justin Foley said he knows people who suffer from PTSD, so participating in the ride is important to him.
“Every year, I plan to be involved with it, whether I have to take vacation time or not,” Foley said. “That event is important to me. I've had a few friends that had PTSD, and I want to help raise
awareness about it.”
The ride will end in Sharon, where family-friendly activities are planned, including vehicle extrication demonstrations, a Flight For Life landing, live music and the opportunity for children to
get an up-close look at rescue vehicles.
Benson said people do not have to participate in the motorcycle ride in order to attend the event in Sharon.
“It's just not set for motorcyclists. It's set for the general public. It's set for everybody to come out,” Benson said. “They will find something that they can enjoy. My wife got a dunk tank and
I think she wants to perch me up there.”
Serving the community
Besides Heroes Saving Heroes, the Roaddocs also participated in the MDA Tub Run and plan to participate in the Greg Garnand Benefit Ride, which is set for September in Woodstock, Illinois. Garnand
is a paramedic who recently was diagnosed with bone cancer.
The group also offers scholarships for students who plan to enter the EMS field, as well as classes in CPR, accident scene management and first aid.
“We want to help people. We want to get our message out there,” Benson said. “I think that is why people gravitate to the Roaddocs, because we're out there serving the community.”
Foley said he has been involved with several programs that the Roaddocs have organized.
“I participated in a blanket drive for hospice where we provided blankets for people who are undergoing hospice care,” Foley said. “I also participated in a Crayola drive where we collected crates
of coloring books, crayons and art supplies.”
Benson started the riding club about five years ago after looking to join a motorcycle group.
“I went to a couple of groups, and I thought, 'I just don't blend in.' I wanted to be around people who do the same things that I do,” Benson said. “I went home to my wife one night and said, 'I
don't care if I ride by myself, because I love what I do.'”
The Roaddocs has expanded to include chapters in 36 states, as well as chapters in Denmark, Germany and Australia. There are about 400 members.
“I just never realized that it was going to blow up so fast,” Benson said. “The idea just started out by wanting to ride with people. It's kind of evolved.”
Messina said he joined the Roaddocs about four years ago after looking for a riding group to join.
“I actually stumbled across it online and didn't give it much thought,” Messina said. “I called the number on the website and found out that Bill had worked with my wife. We became friends, and it
started from there.”
The Wisconsin chapter has about 50 members.
“Basically, we have members from all over,” Messina said. “We have members from Rice Lake, the Green Bay area, Appleton and Walworth County and Rock County. We have members from northern Illinois,
like from Rockford and Crystal Lake. It's one group, but we have four regions within that group.”
The Roaddocs often ride as a group in areas throughout the state.
Messina said he has enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know other EMS workers.
“I like that you interact with other people from the medical profession,” Messina said. “Mostly what we do is go on rides and give back to the community.
“Heroes Saving Heroes is a perfect example of that.”
Foley said he decided to join after the Roaddocs participated in an event in his hometown of Lake Mills.
“I told them that I was an EMT and that I liked to ride, and they said this club is for you,” Foley said. “It's about helping others. A lot of clubs like to do things for leisure, but we get down
to the brass tacks and help others.”
Anyone who works in the medical profession is welcome to join the EMS Roaddocs.
“It's good to bring all the medical people together. It's just not for people who work on an ambulance. It's for doctors, nurses, EMTs and paramedics, you name it,” Benson said. “We have
respiratory service workers. We have all kinds of people associated with the medical field. It's pretty amazing with how it's grown and the direction it's taken. It's really done a lot of good
Heroes Saving Heroes Ride This Sunday
Read More: Greg Lindmark Benefit Ride This Sunday |
There will be a special motorcycle ride this Sunday, to benefit The Greg Lindmark Foundation. The EMS Roaddocs Riding Club will have a benefit ride this Sunday in Rockford. The EMS
Roaddocs Riding Club is made up entirely of full and part time people who work in Emergency services active and retired this includes doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMT’s and Firefighters.
The ride benefits The Greg Lindmark Foundation, Greg Lindmark passed away related to PTSD and Cumulative stress in February of this year, he was a 23+ year veteran and Deputy Chief of Rockford
PTSD is very serious, and can lead to substance abuse and even suicide. The number of EMS that suffer from this is staggering. Watch the video below to learn more.
Read More: Greg Lindmark Benefit Ride This Sunday |
Heroes Saving Heroes Ride starts and ends at Kegel Harley Davidson. Registration starts at 10:30am Sunday, kickstands up at Noon. This will be a Police Escorted Ride that will stop at The Stillman
Valley Fire Department.
You can get more information and register at EMSROADDOCS
Read More: Greg Lindmark Benefit Ride This Sunday |